Life Sciences

Our full-service group of Life Sciences specialists comprises lawyers who are passionate and knowledgeable about this dynamic yet highly regulated sector. They are regarded as leaders in their field and many have scientific and technical backgrounds. The Group provides both contentious and non-contentious advice focusing on patent, regulatory, major contract and competition law disputes across the Life Sciences sector. 

Known for our nimble and creative approach, we pursue every avenue to protect our clients' interests. In particular, our regular use of civil search and asset freezing orders in counterfeit pharmaceutical and agrochemical cases sets us apart from our competitors.

We understand that having the right regulatory advice is critical to your success and we advise our clients on the full range of commercial agreements including: licences, research and development agreements, large-scale clinical trial programmes and technology transfer.

Our clients range from multi-nationals to start-ups, operating in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, agrochemical, crop science and veterinary medicine fields. The Life Sciences Group also works with academic institutions and non-profits, tailoring legal solutions in recognition of their institutional needs and risk preferences.

Services

Patents and Supplementary Protection Certificates
  • Managing complex multi-jurisdictional disputes relating to validity and/or infringement of patents and SPCs, and issues of patentability
  • Freedom to operate advice in the light of third party rights and clearing the way to market strategies
  • Strategic advice to pharmaceutical companies on the implications of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court and opting out of the proposed regime
Intellectual Property (non-patents)
  • Protection, exploitation and enforcement of IP rights across the Life Sciences industry, including advising on complex clearance issues and portfolio management relating to pharmaceutical brands  
  • Anti-counterfeiting strategies including innovative use of civil and criminal remedies (including actions for fraud and for recovery of proceeds of crime) and Border detentions
  • Trade secrets protection
Regulatory
  • Advice on obtaining marketing authorisations and acting in cases relating to regulatory decisions
  • Regulatory and contractual issues relating to clinical trials agreements
  • Regulation of novel foods and food supplements
  • Pharmacovigilance issues
  • Reimbursement and pricing issues
  • Advice in relation to paediatric and orphan drugs
Dispute resolution
  • Resolution of IP, competition, regulatory and contractual disputes, including through mediation and arbitration
  • Product liability
  • Reputation management
  • Conducting internal investigations (benefitting from the potential retention of legal professional privilege for the client in UK as opposed to the use of in-house professional legal advisers)
  • Advising in respect of bribery and corruption legislation/exposure in the UK (e.g. Bribery Act, ISO 37001) and wider transnational jurisdictional aspects
  • Conducting Private Prosecutions (e.g. fraud, IP breaches and counterfeiting offences)
  • Assisting with criminal investigations (particularly s.7 Bribery Act 2010 and the anticipated expansion of similar financial offences that will impact upon pharmaceutical sector)
  • Insurance coverage disputes
Competition
  • Advising on relevant market definition applicable to the pharmaceutical sector, including the relevance of ATC Classification
  • Advising on the interplay between competition law and intellectual property, including patent settlement, FRAND issues in relation to SEPs in the technology sector and potential misuse of the patent system/SPCs
  • Advising various drug manufacturers and wholesalers on various issues associated with the application of EU competition law to the pharmaceutical sector
Commercial issues and exploitation
  • Advising on and negotiating the full suite of commercial transactions across the Life Sciences industry
  • Data protection, data privacy and cyber-security advice
  • Advising in relation to advertising and marketing issues
  • Insurance coverage advice
Corporate, Tax and Employment
  • Purchases and sales of companies or their assets. Accessing capital markets and IPO
  • Advising financial institutions and other investors on investments in the Life Sciences sectors and related due diligence
  • Private equity transactions, including buy outs and buy ins, corporate business acquisitions and disposals, public-to-private transactions, growth/development capital investments
  • Transactions involving reorganisations and demergers
  • Fund structuring and establishment, including tax and regulatory advice

Experience

  • United Phosphorus Limited on obtaining what is believed to be the first ever civil search and asset freezing order in respect of counterfeit agrochemicals against AgChemAccess Limited
  • Advanta Netherlands B.V. in the successful revocation of a patent for a high stearic, high oleic sunflower oil held by Cargill, Inc
  • Dermal Laboratories and Sixtem Life Srl on their defence and successful settlement of patent infringement proceedings brought by Orasure Inc relating to Dermal's 'Bazuka Sub-Zero' cryogenic wart treatment
  • Recovery of highly confidential information and trade secrets that had been misappropriated by a former employee of our clients, and who sought to provide that information to a competitor. Our team obtained an order for the immediate delivery up of all confidential information and a restraining injunction preventing any use of our clients' confidential information in the future
  • Shionogi Limited in relation to one of the largest CRO managed clinical trial programmes taking place in over 140 sites and in 20 countries. In addition to creating country specific template clinical trial agreements, based on local regulations of clinical trials, this has included the preparation of CDAs and local representation agreements and subsequently negotiating each of the site specific clinical trial agreements
  • Perrigo in its defence of a trade mark infringement and passing off claim by Reckitt Benckiser relating to certain trade marks and packaging for Reckitt's Nurofen Express product
  • Acting for Lupin in proceedings in the Patents Court in relation to validity of a Supplementary Protection Certificate relating to a combination product
  • Acting for Dr Reddy's Laboratories in proceedings in the Patents Court relating to patent infringement and validity, concerning a second medical use patent
  • Advising a generic pharmaceutical company in relation to the European Commission's abuse of dominance investigation into Servier's patent settlement agreements relating to Perindopril
  • Advising Woodford Management LLP on a number of investments in life science, bioscience and pharmaceutical companies

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